The thought process for this blog started with a single Keynote slide. For the last two weeks, I’ve had a one-page slide sitting on my desktop with details how many different ways which friends, family, colleagues and new contacts can reach me.
During my childhood, I remember we had two staples: the home phone and our mailbox. As an adult, communication grew more complex. We were offered choices between new business toys like fax machines and pagers. When cell phones and email hit main stream, the world changed forever.
Today, we have more ways to communicate than I can count on both hands, yet, I see and hear about more miscommunication and lack of communication than ever before. While I do not plan on deleting what I started, I hope you will play along with me as I recount the ways in which people can reach me today.
Let’s start with the phone. Once reachable only at home, now we can find anyone, anywhere, from airlines to bathroom stalls. Privacy? Forgetaboutit. I remember reading a sad story of a family burying someone who passed away and as the dirt was being shoveled over the grave, a cell phone from under the ground started ringing. You won’t find a home phone to reach me, but certainly a cell phone, work phone, a Google talk number and texting on my smart phone are options to communicate.
The mailbox is a second method. Home, work and a PO Box. Three simple outlets, and while the frequency of important information has fallen, the pure spam of direct mail has not.
Email is a third option. Personal and work email is on the check list as is a dedicated email for consulting work. Let me knot forget a teaching email for my graduate school adjunct work and there’s always the dummy email account to check once every blue boon. If you don’t use a dummy account, it is terrific when you need to register for something online yet do not want to give away your personal information.
The overload effect enters into the picture when it comes to social networking and social media. In no particular order here is my personal list. There’s my personal Facebook page, the work related Facebook pages I need to monitor and then I cannot forget the sportsinfo101.com Facebook page; Twitter – A personal account and of course my corporate Twitter account. My LinkedIn profile and the corporate LinkedIn page for my company that needs updating and monitoring; Finally there is Youtube Channels, Instagram, Pinterest, tumblr and Mobli to name a few more Whew.
Tired yet? I am. That’s 26 different channel, minimum and I may have missed one or two.
I will certainly admit that not everyone is as connected with new social platforms like I am. Yet, when you take stock in how the world has changed, I ask again, when is it too much? At what point do we say enough and just go back to basics?